Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

Lysius Gough


Lysius Gough was born in 1861 (or 1862) on a North Texas farm in Lamar County. Jim Gough, in his biographical note on his grandfather, "My Grandad Was a Cowboy" notes that his great-grandfather, Asher Gouh "had brought his little family to Texas from an area near Mayfield, Kentucky . . . ."

The young Lysius Gough learned cowboy work early and wass involved in several cattle drives. It was on these cattle drives that Gough "jotted down his recollections of cowboy life in stories and rhymes." Jim Gough claims that his grandfather's book verse, Western Travels and Other Rhymes, published in 1886, was the first book of cowboy verse.

Gough didn't resume his education until he was 21 years old. He became princapl of the school, married one of his pupils, Ida Russell, and then moved to Dimmitt, in Castrol County. Gough became the first mayor of Dimmitt, and the first county judge of Castro County. He had a successful law practice, became an extensive land owner, and was involved with C.E. Witherspoon in a real estate compnay. According to Jim Gough, "[i]n 1912, he moved to Crosbyton and managed the C.B. Livestock Coompany's 10,000 acre spread. In later years he farmed wheat in the area near Hereford and the the first President of the Panhandle Wheat Growers Association." [Source: Featured at the Bar-D Ranch: Judge Lysius Gough]

Judge Lysius Gough
B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas 588-590 (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906)(vol.2)

Lysius Gough
Handbook of Texas Online

Cowboy Poet Goes Home


Lysius Gough, Western Travels and Other Rhymes (Dallas: A.D. Aldridge, printers, 1886)

__________, Spur Jingles and Saddle Songs: Rhymes and Miscellany of Cow Camp and Cattle Trails in the Early Eighties (Amarillo, Texas: Russell Stationery Company, 1935)(revised ed., 1936)( Illustrations by Ben Carlton Mead)


Lysius Gough, Crime (Amarillo, Texas:  Amarillo Publishing Company, 1937)

Research Resources

Gough Genealogy

Gough Genealogy

Descendants of William Gough Sr.

Dimmett, Texas
Texas Handbook Online

Castro County
Texas Handbook Online